Listen to the interview (approx. 44 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2009 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: French horn.
Position: (Internal) Help Desk Specialist at Facebook. Victor does many small tasks each week, one of 9 people supporting roughly 3,000 other Facebook employees on various technical issues. Tasks range from setting people up with new machines to troubleshooting when apps don’t open or email isn’t working right to a bit of system administration.
Overview: While a Berklee student, Victor did computer support–not all that dissimilar to his current job. Graduating during a terrible economic recession, he moved home to Western Massachusetts, though aware that the music industry there was pretty minimal. First Victor doing some music-related, seasonal work at Six Flags amusement park, then he found a job doing a combination of IT support, photo-editing and framing at a small photography studio. But the pay wasn’t great and by late 2011 he was ready for a change. A friend suggested he join him in Austin and he and his then-girlfriend drove down there “with $1000 to our names and no jobs lined up.” Applying widely to jobs, he received 3 job offers, and took a full-time tech support from a company IT Freedom which provided computer support for local businesses.
Victor worked there for 2.5 years, then got laid off in early 2014. Fortunately, he knew someone at a company that provided customer support for other companies, and was hired as a SME (Subject Matter Expert). Eventually, he started to feel a bit stuck, as there wasn’t the prospect of career growth there, so Victor started applying to jobs–including a couple of positions at Facebook–while continuing to work. One very long interview process later, he was hired into his current job in November, 2017.
You can see Victor’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I enjoy interacting with a bunch of different people on a daily basis. My peers are wonderful. The work environment is great. Facebook is looking to tackle big issues, and we feel we’re part of a big mission. It’s never a dull day, with something always going on.”
“A lot of smaller IT companies are contracted to do support. A position at one of those is a great way to get into this industry. Many jobs are entry-level. If you can troubleshoot computers give it a shot. A lot are willing to train people on the job if there’s a good cultural fit.”
“Berklee really pushes you–you develop a self-discipline that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. You’re focusing on this one thing (your instrument) so much that you develop a regimented way of figuring out any problem–you break down an issue piece by piece and figure out how to solve it and that’s a skill that can be applied to any profession.”
“Things worked out, but if otherberkleealumni.com had existed back when I graduated in 2009 I certainly would’ve been a lot less worried.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.